In the wake of Israel’s military attack against Gaza flotilla activists (latest death toll: 14-20), I’ve been scouring the Israeli press to find any semblance of soul searching over how things could have come to this.
To my sorrow, all I’m finding is an analysis of the “tactical mistakes” made by the IDF and the public relations fallout of this tragic attack. In the meantime, there’s the same old defensive posturing from the government:
The defense minister also called on Arab and Palestinian leaders not to let this “provocation by irresponsible people” ruin the progress made in proximity peace talks…
Israeli Navy commander Vice-Admiral Eliezer Marom said Monday that IDF soldiers that raided Mavi Marmara acted with “perseverance and bravery…”
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said that the flotilla of ships “was an armada of hate and violence…”
I have no doubt that the reaction of the American Jewish community will be just as defensive, if not more so. As for me, I’ll be hoping against hope that we’ll start to hear different kinds of reactions:
– That the Freedom Flotilla was not simply a movement of provocateurs seeking to “delegitimize” Israel, but a group of activists mounting an act of civil disobedience to bring attention to 1.5 Palestinian citizens who are suffering under a crushing blockade.
– That mounting a military operation against civilian activists in international waters was bound to be futile, illegal, and yes, even immoral.
– That for all our concern over an organized “delegitimization campaign” against Israel, it may well be that Israel is actually delegitimizing itself through oppressive acts such as this.